The flute in Flamenco social practice: An analysis of timbre, processes of hybridisation, and indigenisation (1975-2017)

Cattaneo, Massimo
This thesis explores the introduction and integration of the flute in flamenco. Since its codification in the 1850s, flamenco has been associated with ethnic, regional and national identity in Spain (Gypsy, Andalusian and Spanish). In 2010, flamenco was included in the Intangible Cultural Heritage Lists of UNESCO. This research analyses how the paradigm shift that took place in flamenco in the 1970s has contributed to processes internationalisation and universalisation of the genre. It focuses in particular on the integration of the flute in the tradition and its significance in traditionalist flamenco ideology. Flamenco flute playing is perceived as ‘third space’ (Bhabha 1990) for musical and cultural hybridisation. This thesis argues that through the fusion of native flamenco pedagogies and traditional aesthetic, and through the hybridisation of performance spaces and traditional structural performance hierarchy, the flute is currently undergoing a process of indigenisation in the tradition. It explores how the adaption and adoption of flamenco sounds to flute playing references the indigenous flamenco systems of communication and meaning, traditionally understood and articulated through timbre. This thesis is informed by extensive field research in Spain and explores the significance of the integration of the instrument in flamenco, both as a musical and cultural phenomenon, and the resulting effects on perceptions of identity and belonging, traditionally located and articulated through the musical experience.
NUI Galway
Publisher DOI
Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Ireland